Updated: Apr 13
Any guesses on how much time an average individual spends on their smartphone every day? Just over six hours. Needless to say, it’s impossible to deny that mobile devices have completely engulfed our lives in the past few years. As an orthopedist, we recognise how integral and useful devices like iPads could be in successfully treating patients. Moreover, the majority of us carry around our iPhones with religious commitment. Although smartphones have revolutionised everything we do, from food take-out to travel, excessively using any device could have negative consequences.
The continuous hand motions we utilise to navigate our phones could have severe consequences, and will result in a number of injuries. In this article, we’ll understand how you can prevent these from happening in the first place and preserve orthopaedic health.
Holding Your Phone
Undeniably, we all understand just how to operate our wrist supports, desktop computers and office chairs in a way that’s ergonomically correct. Nevertheless, it’s very tough to use our mobile devices in the same way. Hence, the risk of injury is basically the same, if not more. Any counterintuitive posture or repetitive motion can cause pain or injury.
Sadly, smartphones present a big problem not only because we’re on them a lot these days. Although there are a number of positions in which we can operate and hold them, most of these positions have a negative or bad effect on our bodies.
Firstly, reduce the tension in your wrist, because this is the part that smartphones usually affect directly. Adjusting your holding technique, straighten your wrists out as much as possible. Engaging both thumbs and grasping your phone at the sides places undue stress on the wrists. Make it a habit to place your phone on a flat surface while you swipe or text. Or, you could also try to hold it with one hand and use the other to navigate other apps on the device.
Additionally, keeping your elbow straight will help in preserving healthy blood flow in your fingers. Usually, most patients with vision problems have the habit of bending their elbows, to bring their phones closer to their faces. If this happens to you, ensure you’re wearing the correct prescription glasses for clear vision of your screen even from a distance.
3 Ways to reduce Hand Pain Caused From Mobile Devices
Although it’s more likely that prevention methods can’t assist you anymore, and you already started to feel some hand pain. If that’s the case, there are a few reliable and simple ways to ease pain and minimise inflammation without medical attention.
1. Stretches: While using your phone, take advantage of your other hand’s freedom by performing a few hand stretches. Simply flex your hand, wrist, tendons, muscles and shoulders in every direction in order to keep them flexible.
2. Massages: Simply massaging your hand and the area surrounding it, can disperse any knots or tension.
3. Hot/Cold Compress: A hot compress will help in relaxing your muscles/tendons around your arm. Eventually, this gives room for better range of motion. In the case of acute pain, where pain lasts for a week or more, a cold compress is preferred to heat. More heat could result in swelling and can even worsen the pain.
Obviously, if you can’t reduce your wrist/hand pain at home, we would be happy to diagnose and also recommend appropriate treatment of your hand pain. We have several years of experience in helping people of Bangalore recover from all kinds of orthopaedic sports injuries, imaginable. Although our smartphones might be incredible devices that have managed to put extraordinary convenience right inside our pockets, nevertheless, not holding them properly could have unpleasant consequences.
If you’re looking for an orthopedist in Bangalore for consultation in order to help in treatment of hand pain, you can get in touch with 1Health Medical Center. Our expert Orthopedist will make the necessary observations, prescribe the right tests, and eventually use the test results to arrive at a treatment plan which will help you mitigate the problem.